The members of the Missouri legislature will take time next Tuesday afternoon to honor country music legend and Missouri native Leroy Van Dyke. The Missouri House of Representatives will hold a brief ceremony on the House floor as state Reps. Nathan Beard and Steve Cookson present Van Dyke with an official House Resolution honoring him for his 60 years in the music business. Van Dyke is also scheduled to be honored on the floor of the Missouri Senate that same day.
Both Beard and Cookson said it was a privilege to be able to recognize a man who has had such a profound impact on the country music business, and such incredible longevity in the industry.
“The impact Leroy Van Dyke has had on country music is unparalleled and something we all should take immense pride in as his fellow Missourians. I am blessed to have him as a constituent and so extremely proud of the amazing career he achieved with talent, hard work and perseverance. I am thrilled that my colleagues will join us in shining a much deserved spotlight on the Missourian who is respected throughout the country music industry as a consummate professional,” said Beard, R-Sedalia.
“Our state has seen some truly outstanding men and women accomplish amazing things, but few can rival the phenomenal accomplishments of Leroy Van Dyke, who is Missouri’s ambassador for country music. He has entertained millions over multiple generations, and continues to be a world class entertainer today at the age of 86. He is truly one of our state’s finest and most accomplished citizens, and someone I am proud to be able to join my colleagues in recognizing,” said Cookson, R-Poplar Bluff.
Van Dyke, who was born in Mora, Missouri in 1929, currently lives on a ranch near Sedalia. A University of Missouri graduate, he first achieved country music fame in 1956 with his hit song, “The Auctioneer”, which sold more than 2.5 million records. Van Dyke was also famous for his song, “Walk on By”, which was named by Billboard Magazine in 1994 as the biggest country music single of all time. In total, Van Dyke recorded more than 500 songs with dozens of them making the charts. For his many successes in the country music business, Van Dyke was made a member of the Grand Ole Opry; named the Country Music Entertainer of the Decade for the 1960s by music industry experts; and inducted into North American Country Music Association, International, Hall of Fame.
Van Dyke also had a successful career in other mediums as he starred in the leading role in the 1967 movie “What Am I Bid?”, and served as a cast member on the ABC television show “Ozark Jubilee”. Van Dyke also co-hosted the Country Crossroads radio show, which became the most widely syndicated radio show in country music history. In addition to his success as a country music entertainer, Van Dyke served his country in Korea as a special agent with the U.S. Army Counter-Intelligence Corps. He also is a member of the National Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame, and is the author of “Auctioneering, Motivation, Success”.